Instagram posts that promote weight loss will be hidden from users under 18

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Instagram posts promoting some weight loss products and cosmetic procedures will soon be restricted, the social media platform announced Wednesday. The app announced that some posts will be hidden from users under 18, while others will be removed from Instagram and Facebook entirely. 

“We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone that uses it and this policy is part of our ongoing work to reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media,” said Instagram’s public policy manager, Emma Collins, in a statement. 

Instagram said the new policies are a direct reaction to the increase of influencer marketing and the promotion of diet teas, supplements and certain cosmetic surgeries on the app. Influencers have advertised weight loss products with increasing frequency over the years to an impressionable young audience

Posts that have “an incentive to buy or includes a price” will be subject to restriction based on age, while content that “makes a miraculous claim about certain diet or weight loss products, and is linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code” will be removed completely under the new policy. 

The app will also unveil additional ways to reports posts that disobey the new rules. Users can report posts they believe violate the updated guidelines to a team of content reviewers, who will determine what action to take against them. 

Actress Jameela Jamil, an outspoken body positivity activist who worked on the policy changes, called the move a “huge win or our ongoing fight against the diet/detox industry.” 

“Facebook and Instagram taking a stand to protect the physical and mental health of people online, sends an important message out to the world,” she said. “As someone who struggled with an eating disorder for most of my youth, I’ve personally known and suffered the perils of the devious side of the diet/detox industry.” 

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